Customer Relationship Management (CRM) isn’t new to the world of business, and businesses that tout that CRM is the “lifeline” or “backbone” of their operations are seeing benefits such as:
- Between $5.60 and $8.71 ROI for each $1 spent on CRM
- Up to a 41% increase in revenue sales for each salesperson
- Increased customer retention rates of up to 27%
How do they achieve these returns?
The answer is, businesses that place CRM at the heart of their operations use it as much more than just a tracking or data entry system.
1. Use CRM as an operations tool
Operations, or how a business engages its employees to follow business processes, is where CRM opens doors to endless value. Your CRM strategy should bring together multiple departments in an organized way.
Technically, sales, marketing, and customer service have their own processes; however, breaking apart the various processes within each functional department becomes paramount.
2. Process analysis and workflow
Bringing business processes into CRM leads to measurable improvements. Users can follow consistent processes, and operational bottlenecks are removed. More improvements – instead of allocating people to low-value tasks – can be built into the CRM’s scope when a business starts down this road.
3. Analyze how CRM can “do things better”
Break processes into granular steps, identifying clear “start” and “end” points. Where is data input or manual involvement occurring? What could be automated? Where should human input be retained for a personal touch?
From that exercise, you can see known steps that can be automated or streamlined to eliminate operational waste without risking the business’s brand, reputation, or culture.
4. Take specific action to achieve your goals
This granular thinking makes the task of selecting a CRM solution easier. You gain an understanding of features needed and – if you have captured the “business savings” data – a level of comfort on product pricing (or cost of ownership) for your business.
Delivering these new process flows – digitizing business, if you will, is only the beginning. Then, you have to measure the results of your new process flows. What KPIs will measure success, and how do you measure success? Is it an increase in customer satisfaction? Increasing revenue?
Make sure you establish these ‘win’ KPIs to paint a clear picture of your evolution to operational efficiency.
Your new CRM solution should evolve to achieve maximal results. Continue collecting feedback over time from users and implementing changes to the process to yield additional efficiency.
The journey to operational efficiency in CRM
Companies that embrace CRM and achieve measurable returns are the ones that exercise patience and consistency. Trial and error, testing, tweaking, etc., is the only surefire way to ensure a CRM unlocks the full potential of an organization.
Information used in this article was provided by our partners at Sage.